In 1956, humorist Gene Shepherd (co-writer and narrator of A Chistmas Story) perpetrated a hoax on the entire country, including in the New York Times. Shepherd had the listeners to his late-night radio show go into bookstores across the land to request a copy of a nonexistent book, I, Libertine by mythical author Frederick R. Ewing. The book is reviewed or discussed by many national publications.
The rest of the story is told by a narrator and Shepherd himself in this video. Shepherd was approached by a publisher for permission to have an author actually write a book under that title, which is why the link above will take you to an Amazon page where a Kindle edition may be obtained, as well as much more expensive paperback collector’s item.
Even though fake news has been common as can be, most everyone will succumb to the Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect and believe everything they read in the papers.
h/t to RIcochet user Misthiocracy for finding this gem.